EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. -- A local group of EMS workers in East Greenbush are well known for their fast response times when it comes to saving lives, but a new policy change has residents questioning if they will be able to continue living up to that reputation.
The W. F. Bruen Rescue Squad is a not for profit group funded by the taxpayers of East Greenbush. But a new policy change dealing with mutual aid requirements has many worried those tax payers might not be able to count on them as well as they used to.
"I had a heart attack at home and the paramedics were there within five minutes," said Kathy Miller of East Greenbush, describing her own medical emergency back in February.
She stressed the importance of a quick response time by paramedics and was joined by a number of other community members and Bruen Rescue Squad members at a Town Board meeting Wednesday night.
The group is concerned that a change in the mutual aid policy with nearby Castleton could leave the people of East Greenbush without a fully staffed EMS crew.
"They changed it in a way that it will leave East Greenbush unprotected by sending out our last paramedic unit to help with mutual aid in Castleton," said the paramedics labor Representative Gary Favro.
Favro says the earlier policy guaranteed at least one Advanced Life Support Unit would remain in the town no matter what.
"If you're out of town on a call, the people here could be unprotected for several hours," he said.
Daniel Glick, the Director of Administration and Operations for the squad, said Wednesday that the Board for Bruen agrees this new policy will help everyone financially.
"It will not impact the current contract we have with The Town of East Greenbush and will help communities that don't currently have an Advanced Life Support Program get faster care for their residents," he said.